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Michael Jackson Dead at 50

June 25, 2009 6:19 PM ET

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that law enforcement and city officials have confirmed that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died today after suffering what has been reported as a cardiac arrest. Jackson was 50. According to reports, Jackson was not breathing when paramedics were called to his Los Angeles home this afternoon, June 25th. Paramedics at the scene performed CPR on the singer, who was then transported to the UCLA Medical Center. Jackson arrived at the hospital in a deep coma; attempts to resuscitate him failed as he was completely unresponsive. He was declared dead at 2:26 p.m. PST.

Immediately following news of Jackson's hospitalization, an unnamed member of the Jackson family told TMZ that the singer was in "really bad shape," with Jackson's father Joe adding that his son was "not doing so well." In recent years, rumors of ill health have dogged Jackson, though the singer nor his reps ever confirmed any reports. (Read the music world's reactions to Jackson's death.)

Jackson was in Los Angeles for rehearsals for his This Is It! run of concerts at London's O2 Arena, scheduled to begin on July 13th and run through the early months of 2010. As reported in the new issue of Rolling Stone, sources say that Jackson was frequently absent from the show's rehearsals, and the run's opening four shows were postponed for what an AEG Live rep called the "massive and technically complex" nature of the show.

As a testament to Jackson's appeal despite years out of the musical spotlight, all 50 shows of the London run quickly sold out. Jackson is survived by his three children and an immeasurable musical legacy.

Michael Jackson in Rolling Stone:
Rolling Stone's Essential Michael Jackson Coverage
Greatest Artists of All Time: Michael Jackson
Greatest Singers: Michael Jackson
Thriller: Behind the Video Set
1983 Cover: Life in the Magical Kingdom

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

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A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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